Ontario Construction News staff writer
Barrie council has approved increased development charge (DC) rates that will be phased in over five years, despite admitting the five per cent annual increases in each of the next five years could “become an inhibitor to units being built.”
“There’s going to be a time, probably next year when we are begging for housing to be built,” said Mayor Alex Nuttall.
For residential construction buildings within the Salem and Hewitt’s secondary plan areas, the charge on a single or semi-detached home will jump to $126,077 by 2027, up from $100,862 in 2023 while charges across the rest of the city will increase to $111,874 from the current rate of $89,499.
Only Councillor Sergio Morales voted no, saying “with the interest-rate climate and the pressures on construction … there’s going to be housing that doesn’t happen because of the increases.”
“These numbers are ambitious for providing housing,” Morales said. “This is much needed money to pay for roads, libraries, fire stations, etc. The city needs this money. However, the feedback that I’ve heard from the industry is that they want to continue engaging staff, that these numbers are high.
Here’s what will happen with non-residential rates:
Salem and Hewitt’s secondary plan areas: $735.64 per square metre from $446.43
City-wide: $607.69 per square metre from $454.41
- Salem and Hewitt’s secondary plan areas: $391.69 per square metre from $316.28
- City-wide: $354.33 per square metre from $283.25
Barrie’s long-range capital plan includes about $6.8 billion in growth-related projects between 2023 and 2041 — roughly $4.1 billion of that will be covered by anticipated DC revenue.
But the city has previously stated it could lose at least $125.2 million in DCs between 2023 and 2027 under the new rates, as fallout from the province’s Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act.
“I am a big believer that growth needs to pay for growth; that we can’t go back to the current tax payer and ask them to supplement the development that’s happening, specifically in the annexation area in the south end of Barrie” Mayor Alex Nuttall said at the council meeting prior to voting in favour of the new charges. “
He called the current situation “a lose-lose.”
“Costs are going up. They’re going up on the developers, they’re going up on us. Therefore, the cost of DCs need to match it and if they don’t match it, then it’s actually the current taxpayers that will have to pick up the tab.”
Supporting the DC bylaw, Nuttall said depending on market conditions over the next 18 to 24 months, “there may need to be a look at this to determine how we can actually get building happening if it does in fact slow to a halt.”
“For more on the new rates, visit barrie.ca.